Finally, we are approaching the year-end of 2015 day by day. Whether you could be ending up this year with wonderful memories or not, we hope you could welcome the New Year with bright hope. By the way, the culture to enjoy the fish with respect at the New Year seems to be related to the history that fish was a valuable item that could be seldom eaten in Japan besides in coastal towns. Fish used to be special feast they could enjoy only during the New Year.
Why don’t you welcome the coming New Year with an auspicious fish? Here is an introduction of the top 5 auspicious fish you should eat during the New Year’s holiday.
- Count down for the top 5 auspicious fish for the New Year –
No. 5 MAGURO (Tuna)
Although having been regarded as a low-class fish and not appreciated until Edo/Meiji periods, Maguro (Tuna) could be gradually promoted as a fish for a celebration event. Many people believe that the eyes of Maguro (Tuna) contain abundant DHA that makes you smarter. Toro (Top-quality tuna with a high fat content) is also delicious, however, Tuna experts seem to prefer the red flesh of Maguro.
No. 4 SAKE (Salmon)
Having travelled a vast expanse of waters for 1-8 years, Sake (Salmon), being recalled with the phrase “Come back, Salmon!”, is going upstream to their mother river for spawning. With its famous homing instinct for their mother river, it is regarded as a lucky fish. Praying for the safe return from the place of appointment overseas, Sake (Salmon) is often served to people before their departure.
No. 3 Ebi (Shrimp)
Symbolizing an aged person with a bent back, “Ebi (Shrimp)” is regarded as an auspicious item in praying for a long life. Among them, Ise-Ebi (spiny lobster) is appreciated as a high-grade ingredient for a celebration occasion. Still now, you can see Ebi decoration on the business car or other transportation during the New Year’s holiday. The cultivation of Ise-Ebi is under research now, however only natural Ise-Ebi is being distributed due to the difficulties of cultivating a delicate shrimp.
No. 2 BURI (Yellowtail)
The King of Fish that is called different names according to their stage of growth is this one, BURI (Yellowtail)! They have multiple names depending on their size from baby fish to adult fish. Needless to say, the name differs in regions such as Kanto, Kansai, Hokuriku, Shikoku and Kyushu and it also differs in some prefectures, which means they have more than 50 names. This could be an enough proof that BURI (Yellowtail) has been loved throughout Japan from old times, couldn’t it?
No. 1 Tai (Sea Bream)
Undoubtedly, Tai (Sea Bream) won the No.1 position! Incidentally, a sea bream served at the ceremony occasion is often called “Tai-no-Okashira-tsuki”. Many people take “Okashira” as “Head”, I guess. But, the correct answer is “Okashira” means “Tail”. In short, “Tai-no-Okashira-tsuki”, an entire Tai, not a piece of it, used to be the most luxury treat that could not be obtained so easily.
Still more, Tai-no-Otsukuri (Sashimi of Sea bream) used to be an extreme gourmet food even a shogun (general) could seldom eat. We should appreciate our blessed life in modern days.
How was the Top 5 auspicious fish ranking to welcome the New Year? I hope you could have a wonderful 2016 in welcoming the New Year with a lucky fish to be appreciated, while thinking about Japanese tradition/culture.